Orphan Day Camp 2013

Many of you were praying for our third annual orphan camp which took place last Saturday. Thank you for your prayers on our behalf. While the day was drizzly, we still had abundant opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors in a beautiful, lush, green facility – a treat for orphans, workers, and volunteers alike! We are also happy to report that there were no injuries at all- not even scrapes, cuts, or bruises. Thank God for His abundant grace on this wonderful day.

We, the volunteers, met at a subway stop and went together to the Fountains where this event was held. Here you see most of the bus load of volunteers ready to rumble! You won’t see Joy in my photos because she was moving so fast I never pinned her down. But, believe me, she was there! Planning the camp is her baby and she worked hard to make it a success.

After helping to set up the venue, it was show time! The bus from the orphanage arrived and unloaded with each of the volunteers taking responsibility for a child. I love the excitement on the face of A Yong as he disembarks and of sweet little Gang Gang on the extreme right.

What a joy to offer this experience to these precious souls!

This little fellow, Gang Gang (the “a” says “ah”), has CP, but works SO hard in therapy. See the sweetness in his eyes? If you know of anyone who might like a handsome, loving, and cooperative son, less than 2 years old (?), who just happens to have moderate flaccid CP, please contact us! Here he is enjoying yoghurt with Joanna after his arrival at orphan camp.

A Yu is one of Grace and Hope’s special favorites at the orphanage because she reminds them of our Abby, and she has the same Chinese name. Grace was holding her in the wading pool, shooting a squirt gun into the air, and A Yu was giggling and giggling as the water drops fell on her. So fun!

But, of course, water is a favorite plaything of many kids and Dong Dong is no exception! (By the way, he still has no family paper chasing for him.)

He and Jin Qiu were making the most of these soft squirt guns “Uncle Tony” brought for them to play with! The pic below of Jin Qiu is one of the best I got on our camera. Following this, a number of my succeeding photos had water spots!

Adam and Dong Dong enjoyed exploring the sprinklers together!

The events recorded below brought me to tears. AnAn was brought to the orphanage perhaps a year and a half ago. He is blind and had apparently been sorely misused before he was abandoned. He’s gained some weight and become more confident in that time, but is still very unsure of himself and is non-verbal other than clicking and a few other sounds. Yuan Yuan was rubbing his back and singing hymns to him. While I watched, he began trying to rub her back in return and began humming back to her. The love of Jesus ministered by His child to “one of the least of these” is a beautiful thing.

Zhong Zhong is a beautiful child, also brought to the orphanage when he was older after having been horribly abused. His spirit was so broken when he was abandoned that he feared expressing any needs. To him the orphanage has been a much safer place, and he has responded to the love shown him by the volunteers, too. Below he enjoys hugs from Myra and encouragement from Angel.

Little Ruthie was an answer to prayer at last year’s orphan camp as a family saw her and fell in love. She is in foster care while her adoption is forthcoming. We rejoice to see her happy and content, chosen for adoption and are praying for similar results from this orphan camp. Hopefully, some children will be noticed either by the volunteers or those of you who read the blog and be “chosen”. Many are already on adoption lists waiting for families. We can help direct you toward them if you only let us know!

Linda sings to and loves on A Yu after she’s been dried off and warmed up!

Nan Nan is one of Faith’s favorite kids at the orphanage. She has a special heart for him, having seen him when he first came to the orphanage, yet one more child sorely abused and brought there as an older child. He was beaten so badly he would not allow people to touch him. My “girls” came home sobbing the first night they met him after seeing the anguish of his poor little soul. Presently he suffers from frequent seizures. At the camp, he became Faith’s special charge and she enjoyed the day cuddling with him. What a wonderful thing that he will now allow himself to be held and loved on!

A Yong has been at the orphanage a long time, perhaps since his birth, during which he apparently suffered oxygen deprivation which thinned his frontal lobe. He eschewed the water for the sand box fun and enjoyed shoveling it from one bucket to another.

Stacy’s special charge for the day was Little Apple who has microcephaly. Though she is tiny, she’s actually six years old. She was LOVING being carried around by my sweet husband and often held his gaze.

You can see her joyful smile below. What a treasure. Perhaps you can also appreciate the beauty of our venue in this shot.

Jin Qiu’s favorite person is probably “Uncle Tony”. When he saw me with the camera he grabbed Tony and posed for me, so of course I had to take the shot. :)

Then it was back to the squirt gun fight!

Xiao Man is eight years old and has only recently come to the orphanage. We don’t know her story. She is a healthy little gal with Down Syndrome who is mostly happy, toilet trained, and quite sweet. We are praying for a family for her in the future. Here she relishes her noodle box with Miss Nicole! Noodle boxes are sort of like boxed mac and cheese to American kids- they are the Chinese kids’ comfort food! Mmm, mmm, good. We try to supply all the yoghurt and noodles the kids will eat, in addition to lunch, since we know they are special treats.

Grace stayed in the pool with Xiao Ming. This darling little boy tugs at our hearts. He loved the water sports during the camp. By the way, can I say that I love my girls’ hearts? Each one is so tender toward these precious kids. 

Zhong Zhong would rather cuddle than play in either dirt or water! He’s come a long way from not wanting to be touched.

But Zhu Zhu is another water baby! Andrew has to stay nearby to keep her from getting in over her head!

Meanwhile, we had expressly invited the nannies and other orphanage staff to take a day off and enjoy the facilities rather than help with the kids. We wanted to treat them, too. How fun to see them cut loose and riding plastic sleds down the grassy slope like kids!

Sometimes they just relaxed under the shade of the gazebo, watching the fun, and visiting with the volunteers.

This was something I’d never seen or heard of until the Fountains had one- it’s a Zorb. The nannies and the orphans both got turns riding in this and they LOVED it!

Sometimes it got kind of rough!

And here is this reporter’s very LAST shot of the day (before noon) before she misjudged the speed of the Zorb and got beaned by it! Here it comes! 

Joy will make another post with more pics and her perspective, which will include lunch and after noon activities. But she is quite tired from all her efforts so I’m just giving you all a tickler here to tune in later in the week for more. If you see any kids you might consider for adoption, please don’t hesitate to ask questions and we will direct you to official channels of inquiry!

Thanks again to the many of you who prayed for this event. We came home very aware that God had answered abundantly. It was a great time, enjoyed by all.